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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/16/2005 3:21:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2005 3:21:51 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
A net-centric B-1

‘Roving linebacker’ of U.S. Air Force gets new gear to stay in the game

BY RICH PARKE



The B-1 Lancer bomber has played a major role in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Boeing is helping ensure it will be able to serve effectively for decades to come, thanks to the recently started Network Centric Upgrades (NCU) program that includes adding new color displays, secure digital radios, a moving map and decision-aiding software.

The swing-wing bomber’s superior performance comes from range, speed and loiter capabilities, with a large payload of modern conventional weapons. Good structural design and relatively low flight hours on the airframes mean the B-1 is expected to last another 40 years. The U.S. Air Force contracted with Boeing for the NCU upgrades so B-1 crews can respond quickly in future conflicts to the vast amount of information about battlefield targets—and adapt to a role that has changed greatly from the B-1’s original mission.

The B-1, or “Bone” as known by its crewmembers, was designed in the 1970s to penetrate deep into hostile territory and deliver nuclear missiles.

In 1992, at the end of the Cold War, the Bone was modified to deliver the GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition, the Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile and other conventional weapons. The Bone’s target set changed accordingly from large fixed targets to dispersed mobile targets.

B-1s have been dubbed the “roving linebacker” because their large payload of weapons and fuel lets them loiter a long time waiting for targets. Currently, when ground troops or intelligence assets detect a target, the target’s coordinates are communicated to the crew verbally by secure radio. The crew transcribes the coordinates, determines the proper route, altitude and other details and manually enters this information into the Bone’s computers.

With the Bone’s ability to carry up to 96 Small Diameter Bombs, manually retargeting 96 weapons in-flight against 96 targets would be overwhelming. To carry out that mission, the B-1 needs to connect to the Global Information Grid for digital targeting and decision aiding. The connection will provide graphical situational awareness and textual tasking (instructions) that will reduce the potential for error and free the crews to perform critical tasks.

Under the NCU contract with the Air Force, Boeing is developing a series of upgrades. Engineers currently are working on the Threat Situational Awareness System to add a display architecture and four new color displays in the front crew station. They have also begun the Fully Integrated Datalink (FIDL) Program that adds an over-the-horizon secure UHF data link and brings Link-16 tactical data to the crew. Link-16 is a secure, high capacity, jam-resistant communication data link for all U.S. military forces. FIDL also adds new color displays to the aft crew station.

These NCU programs will be fielded in the next five years, giving crews the tools to keep the B-1 valuable in future conflicts.


Link Posted: 8/16/2005 4:40:28 PM EDT
With PGMs the B-1 has really turned around as a weapons platform. It has great persitence as a result of its design as a strategic bomber. Unlike the BUFF and the B-2, it also has great speed which means a great capability to react to emerging targets that other high-endurance platforms lack. The only real bummer was how long it took the USAF to certify the thing for non-nuclear operations - remember it missed the first Gulf War.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:42:07 PM EDT
Thank you Pres. Reagan.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:51:17 PM EDT
The good ol' B-1B. Glad to see it's gonna have longevity like it's older brother, the B-52.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:59:25 PM EDT
Roving linebacker? Naw, more like a strong safety.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:06:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2005 8:08:35 PM EDT by SheepDog_556]
Gotta love The Bone.


Edit...whoops...GIANT pic.

Better:





Sheep
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:50:23 PM EDT

With the Bone’s ability to carry up to 96 Small Diameter Bombs, manually retargeting 96 weapons in-flight against 96 targets would be overwhelming
.

The B-1 has the largest payload of any of our bombers, it seems like it should carry more than this. The B2 is being modified to carry 80 500lb. bombs, it just seems like the B1 should carry more 250lb. SDB's. Must be some reason.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:56:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2005 8:59:50 PM EDT by natedogg42]
I would imagine that they can't find a purpose to slap anymore in there...96 is extreme overkill but it would be rather pimp to have 200

I bet it has to do with how the SDBs are stored inside the bomber...on the fighter versions, they can stick a pod on a pilon (that contains 4 bombs) and has its own GPS transmitter...maybe that system is too bulky...lookin for pics.


ETA: I can't find picks of that carrying device but here's a nice SDB porn pic

It has the "diamondback" kit attached to it, which increases the range of the bomb by 20 times! (basically it becomes a glider).

Link Posted: 8/16/2005 9:13:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2005 9:13:56 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By natedogg42:
I would imagine that they can't find a purpose to slap anymore in there...96 is extreme overkill but it would be rather pimp to have 200

I bet it has to do with how the SDBs are stored inside the bomber...on the fighter versions, they can stick a pod on a pilon (that contains 4 bombs) and has its own GPS transmitter...maybe that system is too bulky...lookin for pics.


ETA: I can't find picks of that carrying device but here's a nice SDB porn pic

It has the "diamondback" kit attached to it, which increases the range of the bomb by 20 times! (basically it becomes a glider).

www.defense-update.com/images/diamond-back.jpg



Overkill is fine with me! Another interesting tidbit is the B1 will be able to carry and use different bombs in each bay. 1 bay may be loaded with SDB's, the 2nd may have 2000lbers and the 3rd may have WCMD. Not only a shitload of iron but ready for any target, very kewl!
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 9:27:07 PM EDT
My buddy who flies them has never said anything bad about 'em!
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 11:04:22 PM EDT
Too bad they took them out of McConnell AFB.

Link Posted: 8/16/2005 11:10:50 PM EDT
TFR and Swing wings.........What more can you ask for
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 11:36:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
Thank you Pres. Reagan.


who cut the funding and ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the B1, and was later resurrected as the B1B?
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 11:50:21 PM EDT
That is one sexy beast.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 11:57:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
Thank you Pres. Reagan.


who cut the funding and ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the B1, and was later resurrected as the B1B?



Jimmah Carter, I believe.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 2:05:32 AM EDT
A cool tidbit of info on the B-1 is that she flies with a joystick like a fighter aircraft rather than yokes like any other bomber.

Dave
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 4:30:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
Thank you Pres. Reagan.


who cut the funding and ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the B1, and was later resurrected as the B1B?



Jimmah Carter, I believe.



Warlord is getting his presidents confused. Here's a cool link about the B1-A. Google is your friend.

aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/rockwell/b-1a.htm
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 6:15:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
Thank you Pres. Reagan.


who cut the funding and ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the B1, and was later resurrected as the B1B?



Jimmah Carter, I believe.



You can't blame Carter for cutting that funding. Employment studies showed a 70% loss rate for B-1s doing low-level attacks on the USSR. At the same time Lockheed-Martin was producing some pretty incredible data on this new plane called Have-Blue which became the F-117. Much more effective penetrator than the B-1.

Reagan beat the hell out of Carter over the B-1 during the '80 election campaign until Reagan was briefed up on the Have-Blue work to get him to drop the issue without compromising the blackness of the program. Reagan largely let the issue lay after that, but was trapped into resurrecting the B-1 by campaign promises and the need to keep Have-Blue in the black.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 6:32:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 6:43:30 AM EDT by HELtEr]
Has anyone had the pleasure of seeing one at an air show? I did and its quite the sight and sound. Came by first pass with throttles back and fades into distance....crowd waits about 2 min and it comes from completley different low level run about mid throttle im guessing and pulls up after passing crowd loses some airspeed then cracks the after burners THAT WAS THUNDER! .. it gained altitude and faded into the distance..bad to the bone!! HO

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/windwolf_78th/bombers_b2_0010.jpg

Think those three have things covered for awhile ;)
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 6:42:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:
You can't blame Carter for cutting that funding. Employment studies showed a 70% loss rate for B-1s doing low-level attacks on the USSR. At the same time Lockheed-Martin was producing some pretty incredible data on this new plane called Have-Blue which became the F-117. Much more effective penetrator than the B-1.

Reagan beat the hell out of Carter over the B-1 during the '80 election campaign until Reagan was briefed up on the Have-Blue work to get him to drop the issue without compromising the blackness of the program. Reagan largely let the issue lay after that, but was trapped into resurrecting the B-1 by campaign promises and the need to keep Have-Blue in the black.



UH-OH!

You've gone and done it now.

You can't throw water on the weekly Arfcom circle jerk over 'Reagan's Folly' without incuring their wrath.




I'm sure the Air Force would have much rather had the F-111 sized stealth bombers that Lockheed was proposing when Carter canceled the boner. They certainly would have proved much more useful in the last 20 years.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:05:19 AM EDT
Can you put a fuel tank in the center bomb bay? You don't need that many bombs against terrorist hideouts and safehouses. I think it would be a great idea to have several B1B's armed with JDAM's in the air at all times over Iraq. As soon as we get contact with the enemy, we call one in. When we get a good location, just have 'em drop one on their heads. It's airborne artillery that can arrive in minutes. We can have them buzz the terrorist's general area at high speed for "shock and awe".
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:12:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Can you put a fuel tank in the center bomb bay?


There is a fuel tank that can be loaded into a bay.

I thought I read that they always carried one as they had trouble with weapons in one of the bay. I may very well be wrong, so go easy on me.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:24:06 AM EDT
For So. Calif.
On Oct 22 & 23, Edward AFB is having their annual open house, and these aircraft is scheduled to appear. Last year 2004, the show as cancelled due to commitments in Iraq/Afghanistan.
www.edwards.af.mil/openhouse/docs_html/event_info.html
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:34:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stryfe:

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Can you put a fuel tank in the center bomb bay?


There is a fuel tank that can be loaded into a bay.

I thought I read that they always carried one as they had trouble with weapons in one of the bay. I may very well be wrong, so go easy on me.

IIRC, the arming wires from one of the bays would stream back into the next bay and cause problems with the doors closing (#1's entering #2's, IIRC), so they didnt use the #1 and #2 bay similtaneously. I also thought I'd heard that the problem had been resolved.

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:50:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HELtEr:
Has anyone had the pleasure of seeing one at an air show? I did and its quite the sight and sound. Came by first pass with throttles back and fades into distance....crowd waits about 2 min and it comes from completley different low level run about mid throttle im guessing and pulls up after passing crowd loses some airspeed then cracks the after burners THAT WAS THUNDER! .. it gained altitude and faded into the distance..bad to the bone!!

Beside its just a dam sexy aircraft IMHO looks like its doing mach 1 sitting on runway.


img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/windwolf_78th/bombers_b2_0010.jpg

Think those three have things covered for awhile ;)



I lived a quarter mile from the runway when they were at Grand Forks. Beautiful aircraft, but LOUD. We couldn't keep pictures straight on the wall, and we had to leave rattle space between the glasses in the cupboard or they would knock together and break.

Every once in a while a B1 would do a high-speed pass over the runway, and set off every car alarm on the base.

My favorite was to watch them take off in the evening. You could see these forty-foot long flames coming from the afterburner for miles after they took off.
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